Tony McGee on NYG Game & Saints Thoughts
Good to be back for another season, albeit not starting off on the right foot for the Washington Redskins. Overall looking at last week, I thought it was a very sluggish performance from the Redskins as a whole. I don’t know if some guys were not in playing shape, with it being week one, but it was a very sluggish performance.
Starting with the offense, I saw a very poor performance from start to finish on this side of the football. The offensive line couldn’t protect Jason Campbell, and when they did, he did not release the football early enough…something that has to improve by both Campbell and the line if they are to be successful. I understand this is Jason’s 6th system in 7 seasons, but he has to adapt much quicker to the plays as they are coming at him, and he did not make very good decisions, although he did not turn the ball over at.. something that plagued him last season. I thought Clinton Portis had a good game, given what he had to work with, but if he does not have holes to run through, and has to continue to move from side to side, its going to be a tough season for him.
Defensively, they had a pretty poor first quarter and seemed to pick it up after that. The Giants were helped by a questionable pass interference call on their touchdown drive, but good teams can overcome those types of things, I’m sure there will be more calls like that both for and against the Redskins this season. I think going by position, at the defensive end positions Andre Carter played decent, but Jason Taylor is going to have to get used to playing in the NFC East. The Giants took advantage of his size and continued to run the ball at him. I know he was slowed somewhat by a knee injury but it is something he is going to have to adapt too, because teams will try to attack him with the run. The inside tackles were ok, they did their job. London Fletcher was great inside at the linebacker position, but I thought the outside LB’s did not play very well overall. I know Rocky is coming off the injury, and I’ve always said it takes a player about a full year to get their legs back under them coming off a surgery like that. In the secondary, I thought Landry and Doughty did their jobs well. I thought Fred Smoot played very poorly and was beat way too many times…Carlos Rogers did, however, play much better than I thought, and getting Springs back will be very good for that secondary.
With the coaching, it just seemed like they didn’t have a good game plan in place. I do not know if it’s the players adapting to this offense, but that “sluggish” performance I talk about comes from the coaches first. I thought the defense was much more aggressive last season under Gregg Williams, than they are this year with Blache… its something to keep an eye on . With Zorn the clock management was very poor. You have to know the fundamentals of the game, and I don’t know if it was the heat of the moment or not, but when you’re hired to be the head coach, you need to be able to manage the game as the head coach.
Looking ahead to the Saints, its going to be a very difficult game for Washington. The Saints are, in my opinion, more physical than the Giants. They quitley have a great front four, defensively, and as you saw last week against a good Buccaneers defense, they can put up points. The Redskins will have to stop Reggie Bush both running and catching the ball out of the backfield. On offense, they have to establish the rush early on in the game and attempt to take some pressure off the passing unit, so they have time to make plays.
Overall, it’s very hard to judge a first time head coach after one game, but clearly there is work to do for the Redskins on both sides of the football. They did play a tough game against the defending Super Bowl Champions, at home, which is not an easy task at all for a new head coach. I’m very interested to see what they do at home, against another very good NFC opponent.
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